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Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
Artist's concept of the Polaris triple star system
Click on image for star map
NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI)

Polaris - the North Star

What's in a Name: So named because it is the closest star to the celestial north pole.
Claim to Fame: It's the famous North Star! (actually a triple star system)
Type of Star: Yellow-white Supergiant
How Far Away: 430 light years away
How Big: About 46 times the size of the Sun
How Bright: Roughly 1800 times the luminosity of the Sun
Where to View: In the constellation Ursa Minor.
When to View:All year round in the Northern Hemisphere

Last modified January 18, 2006 by Travis Metcalfe.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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